22 February 2010, by A. Cedilla
When you sit down, put your feet up and turn on the TV to shuffle through the channels…click-click-click, how often do you ever wonder, “What’s up?” — only to hear the voice-over tell you, in a deep, gravelly voice, the name of the next show?
Living your life on purpose is a little like that.
Let me explain:
TV movie channels can tell you what you can look forward to watching in the next week, and in the next 24 hours. They can also tease you with what to expect in the next month.
As a viewer, the former gives you the advance notification of what’s coming… you can choose which programs you want, as well as know the times those programs are available, and when they’ll show, easy as pie.
You can arrange your time to fit in what you want to watch when it’s convenient. The latter lets you anticipate what’s coming, and keeps you going because you have something to look forward to.
What you don’t see going on behind the scenes were the months of planning ahead, the people hammering out licensing and broadcast agreements per region, settling conflicts with other upcoming events –like the Oscars or the Superbowl, and figuring out the best times to release films to the audience.
For example, when releasing a multi-part movie series, the first parts get continuous replay on cable, just around the time the next part is to be released in theaters, right? It’s the build up before the storm breaks, so to speak. (Note: This isn’t even taking into consideration the actual work that went into the films and shows themselves.)
In a very real sense, you can get to see what’s coming soon in the program of your life. You got the early morning kid’s shows, then the educational shows, the hard-hitting news, the life-style and home-and-garden specials, and so on until the station signs off (let’s pretend this isn’t one of those 24/7 channels).
That’s a rather forced metaphorical overview right there, but going along with the most common denominator in this line of thinking (movies and TV shows) I hope you get the gist.
If you know what programs you want to show up in your life, and you’re willing to work hard for it (behind the scenes, unknown, struggling, really tired, sometimes grumpy, and often under-appreciated) you can make it happen so that you can push what you want into reality.
You can work to see that your dreams can come into life. The entertainment industry does that, turning books into movies and stories into life, you can too.
What are the key points?
1) Focus on knowing what you really want. Then use that focus to suss out what it’ll take to get it. When you know what it is you want, and you have a good workable course of action towards getting what you want, you’re just starting out. What completes the cycle is action, and sustaining that action.
2) With the steps and the goals plotted out: you’ll know what you can look forward to, and you can choose to move, in whatever ways you choose to, as long as those actions take you closer to them. When you have an idea of what you can expect, you can aim better, or deal with issues before they become bigger problems.
3) Keep your awareness in the forefront. Let it act as your Jiminy Cricket, your internal voice-over, only this time let it be one encouraging you to keep at the stuff that brings you closer to what you really want, instead of telling you you still have 15 minutes, turn off the snooze button, you can do it later….
4) You need planning skills, both in their continued practice and refinement. What I mean by this is you need a living practice, not just a set of dusty YES-NO diagrams in the back of your head — and you don’t get this by just war-gaming in your head, but by taking it to the field.
You learn by making wrong decisions, by doing, over and over. By learning where things didn’t work, and more importantly, by not learning fear of failure, and letting that fear to decide for you.
The more you learn from experience, the better you can get at anticipating and settling conflicts — not avoiding them, let’s be clear about that — to help you on your way.
5) Leave space for excitement, uncertainty — leave some slack , so you won’t choke and you have room to move. A commercial break in this aspect isn’t to sell stuff, but to take a break from the drudgery.
We need time for rest, to play around in some mindless fun so we can get out of the rut, kick the clutter out of our heads, shake stuff loose and see the world from a new perspective.
And case in point, the next article will be about our unique ability to live in 4 dimensions. Coming soon!
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